Judgement Summary

Jaishri Laxmanrao Patil v. Chief Minister – Maratha Reservation Judgment

Coram- Ashok Bhushan, S. Abdul Nazeer, L. Nageswara Rao, Hemant Gupta, Ravindra Bhat JJ

Judgment

The constitutional bench was convened to decide on the issue of

  1. Special provisions related to socially and educationally backward class of citizen under Art. 15(4) of the constitution
  2. Reservation of backward class under Art. 16(4) of the constitution
  3. Discussion on 102nd amendment Act, 2018

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Judgement Summary

Christian Medical College Vellore Association v Union of India

Coram – Arun Mishra (Authored), Vineet Saran, and MR Shah JJ.

Issue

  1. validity of the amendment made to Section 10D of the Indian Medical Council Act of 1956, regulations thereunder, and similar provisions inserted in the Dentists Act & Regulations. 
  2. These amendments impinged upon the rights of private minority institutions, as NEET was imposed upon them.
  3. MCI and DCI could not have introduced NEET as the same offends the fundamental rights guaranteed under Article19(1)(g) of the Constitution of India and the rights of religious and linguistic minorities to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice as guaranteed under Article 30 Constitution of India.
  4. subordinate legislation could not have overriding effect over the fundamental rights guaranteed under Articles 25, 26, 29(1), and 30 of the Constitution of India.
  5. amendment made could not take away or abridge the aforesaid rights of minorities. The right to admit students is one of the fundamental rights, thus, rider of clearing NEET examination could not have been imposed.

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Judgement Summary

VIKAS KISHANRAO GAWALI V STATE OF MAHARASHTRA ORS.

A.M. Khanwilkar, Indu Malhotra, Ajay Rastogi JJ.

The issue in the batch of writ petitions decided in the present case-

  1. Section 12(2)(c) of the Maharashtra Zilla Parishads and Panchayat Samitis Act, 1961 is ultra vires the provisions of Articles 243­D and 243­T including Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution of India.

[Students should remember the Art. 243D, 243T of the constitution]

2. The State Election Commission order for reservation of 50% seats in Zilla Parishad and Panchayat Samitis in certain districts

Judgment-

  1. The law issue in the matter revolved around, a constitutional bench judgment in K. Krishna Murthy (Dr.) & Ors. v. Union of India & Anr (2010) which held that no more than 50% seats will be provided in any local body by providing reservation SC/ST/OBC.  The State argued that, in exceptional circumstances, the reservation can be increased more than 50%.
  2. The provisions of the S. 12 of the Act say, the state can reserve 27% seats in the Zilla parishad and Panchayat Samitis. The following lines of the s. 12 of the Act is important:

“if in a Zilla Parishad comprising entirely the Scheduled Area, the seat to be reserved for the persons belonging to the backward class of citizens shall be 27 percent of the seats remaining (if any), after reservation of the seats for the scheduled tribes and scheduled castes and one half of the seats thus reserved will be reserved for woman. “The court then discussed the K. Krishna Murthy decision. Continue reading

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Judgement Summary

Toofan Singh v State of Tamil Nadu

Coram – Nariman, Navin Sinha, Indira Banerjee JJ.

Majority – Nariman and Navin Sinha JJ. 

Facts

This case came to Supreme Court as a reference of a Division Bench decision of Supreme Court reported as Tofan Singh v. State of Tamil Nadu (2013) 16 SCC 31.

  1. Conviction was challenged on the ground that

The conviction is based solely on the purported confessional statement recorded under Section 67 of the NDPS Act which has no evidentiary value because

  1. The statement was given to and recorded by an officer who is to be treated as “police officer” and is thus, hit by Section 25 of the Evidence Act
    1. No such confessional statement could be recorded under Section 67 of the NDPS Act. This provision empowers to call for information and not to record such confessional statements. Thus, the statement recorded under this provision is akin to the statement under Section 161 CrPC.
    1. In any case, the said statement having been retracted, it could not have been the basis of conviction and could be used only to corroborate other evidence.”

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Judgement Summary

West UP Sugar Mills Association v. State of Uttar Pradesh, 2020 – Decided on 22.04.2020

Coram – Arun Mishra, Indira Banerjee, Vineet Saran, M.R. Shah And Aniruddha Bose JJ.

This is a Reference.

Background of the Reference

The Court was hearing a reference seeking resolution of conflict between the rulings in Tika Ramji v. State of Uttar Pradesh, AIR 1956 SC 676 and State of U.P. Cooperative Cane Unions Federations v. West U.P. Sugar Mills Association, (2004) 5 SCC 430.

In Tika Ramji Case, the 5-judge bench held that,

  • Section 16 of the U.P. Sugarcane (Regulation of Supply and Purchase) Act, 1953 does not include the power to fix a price;
  • The price of cane fixed by the U.P. Government only mean the price fixed by the appropriate Government which would be the Central Government, under Clause 3 of the Sugarcane (Control) Order, 1955.
  • even the provisions in behalf of the agreement contained in Clauses 3 and 4 of the U.P. Sugarcane (Regulation of Supply and Purchase) Order, 1954 provided that the price was to be the minimum price to be notified by the Government subject to such deduction, if any, as may be notified by the Government from time to time, meaning thereby the Central Government, the State Government not having made any provision in that behalf at any time whatsoever;
  • there is no power to fix a price for sugarcane under the U.P. Sugarcane Act or Rules and the Orders made thereunder.

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Judgement Summary

STATE OF GOA ANR. V FOUZIYA IMTIAZ SHAIKH

Coram- Nariman J., B.R. Gavai J. and Hrishikesh Roy J.

Judgment

States should ensure independence of State Election Commission, the Court held. issued directions under Article 142 of the Constitution of India to direct that all states and territories in India shall henceforth ensure that it has an Independent State Election Commissioner as mandated under Article 243(4) of the Constitution

Background

  1. The Goa State Election Commission [“SEC”] decided to postpone the elections to 11 Municipal Councils whose terms were to expire on 04.11.2020. The elections were scheduled to be held on 18.10.2020, which were postponed to 18.01.2021 in view of the COVID-19 pandemic situation in the State of Goa. On 03.11.2020, the Governor of Goa appointed the Law Secretary of the Government of Goa, a member of the IAS, as State Election Commissioner which duties were to be in addition to his duties as Law Secretary. By an order dated 05.11.2020, Municipal Administrators were appointed by the Department of Urban Development (Municipal Administration) for all these municipal councils whose terms had expired. [When term is expired and election could not be conducted, then one administrator is appointed by the State Government. He is normally an IAS officer for big municipalities]. By a notification dated 14.01.2021, the Goa SEC further postponed the election for a period of three months i.e., till April 2021 or the election date which may be determined by the Commission.
  2. On 04.02.2021, the State of Goa published an amendment to Section 10(1) of the Goa Municipalities Act, 1968 [“Goa Municipalities Act”] in the official gazette. It said, the time frame for issuance of a notification for reservation of wards was stated as being “at least seven days” before the notification for schedule of dates and events of the elections. On the same day, the Director of Municipal Administration issued an order for reservation of wards for 11 municipal councils within the State of Goa. (So even though period specified was 7 days before the notification, they issued notification on the same day).
  3. The petitioners challenged the matter in the Bombay HC. The petition was taken up on the same day when the election was conducted. The division bench of HC allowed the petitions and held that: fresh notification needs to be made after giving 10-day notice. However, HC did not grant stay to the election.
  4. Then petitioners moved to Supreme Court.

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Judgement Summary

Centre For Public Interest Litigation v. Union of India

Coram– Ashok Bhushan, J.,R. Subhash Reddy,  M.R. Shah JJ.

Background

  1. The Disaster Management Act, 2005 (hereinafter referred to as “Act, 2005”) was enacted to provide for the effective management of disasters and matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
  2. The enactment of Disaster Management Act, 2005 was to bring in place requisite institutional mechanisms for drawing up and monitoring the implementation of the Disaster Management Plans and other measures by various wings of the Government for preventing and mitigating effects of disasters.
  3. Although Section 11 of Act, 2005 contemplated preparation of a National Plan, however, the National Plan was not prepared till the year 2016. It was noticed in Swaraj Abhiyan Vs. Union of India & Ors., (2016) 7 SCC 498
  4. In the year 2016, National Disaster Management Plan was prepared as required by Section 11 of the Act, 2005. The preparation of the National Plan under Section 11 was noticed by this Court in Gaurav Kumar Bansal Vs. Union of India and Ors., (2017) 6 SCC 730. This judgment also approves of the fact that state plan and district plans were prepared
  5. The revision of the existing National Disaster Management Plan, 2016 began in April 2017 and completed in November 2019. The National Disaster Management Plan approved by National Disaster Management Authority was notified in November 2019.
  6. This writ petition filed as a public interest litigation and has been filed in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic, seeking direction to the Union of India to prepare, notify and implement a National Plan under Section 11 read with Section 10 of the Act, 2005 to deal with current pandemic (Covid-19) and to lay down minimum standards of relief under Section 12 of the Act, 2005 to be provided to persons affected with COVID-19.
  7. Petitioners have also sought for directions to utilize National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) for the purposes of providing assistance in the fight against COVID-19 and all the contributions/grants from individuals/institutions be credited in NDRF and not to PM CARES Fund and all funds collected in PM CARES Fund till date should be directed to be transferred to NDRF.
  8. Petitioner pleads that Centre should come up with detailed guidelines under Section 12(ii) and (iii) of the Act, 2005 recommending special provisions to be made for widows and orphans and ex gratia to be provided to the kith and kin of those losing life not just because of COVID-19 infection but also due to harsh lockdown restrictions.
  9. The petitioner’s case further is that the grants/contributions by individuals and institutions should be credited into the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) under Section 46 of the Act, 2005 and NDRF should be utilized for meeting the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. All the contributions made by the individuals and institutions in relation to COVID-19 are being credited into the PM CARES Fund and not in NDRF, which is clear violation of Section 46 of the Act, 2005. The NDRF is subject to CAG Audit and PM CARES Fund is not subject to CAG Audit.
  10. In the counter affidavit, the respondents (Govt of India) have questioned the locus of the petitioner to file this public interest litigation. Counter affidavit questions as to whether there can be a permanent body set up only to file litigation on issues, which the said body subjectively considers to be of “public interest”.
  11. Govt says-
    1. National Disaster Management Plan as per Section 11 is already in place
    1. Act, 2005 provides for a broad framework in terms of the response to be provided in pursuance to a National Plan in case of any disaster
    1. National Plan does not and cannot contain step by step instructions or specific instructions for the day-to-day management by Government agencies in the situation of any particular and unforeseen disaster.
    1. National Plan is not a document that contains the microscopic details as to the day-to-day management of the issues arising out of different disasters.
    1. National Disaster Management Authority has issued various orders from time to time to take effective measures found required at the relevant point of time to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the country.
    1. National Disaster Management Authority has framed broad template for State level and District level for contingency plan for COVID-19.
    1. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has approved the India COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health Systems Preparedness Package of Rs.15000 crores, which seeks to support States/Union Territories in various aspects of management of the COVID Pandemic
    1. there are several funds which are either established earlier or now for carrying out various relief works. PM CARES Fund is one of such funds with voluntary donations
    1. there exist a NDRF which would not prohibit creation of a different fund like PM CARES fund which provides for voluntary donations. The directions prayed in the writ petition for transfer of funds received in PM CARES Fund in the NDRF are non-maintainable.

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